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Malin Ernberg

Professor/senior dentist

About me

Malin Ernberg received her dental degree (DDS) at Karolinska Institutet 1979. From 1980 until 1984 she worked part time as clinical teacher at the Department of Dental Medicine at KI in parallel with work as general dentist in her own private clinic, whereafter she switched to full time in private clinic a few years. In 1990 she returned to the Department of Dental Medicine as clinical teacher. She received her specialist diploma in orofacial pain/TMD 1995. 

1995 she began her PhD training which was accomplished in 1999. After this she became Assistant Professor at the Department and 2001 was promoted to Senior Lecturer. In 2004 she was appointed associated professor at KI. Between 2004 and 2006 she was guest researcher at the Department of Orofacial Pain in Arhus University, Denmark during a total of 1 year. Between 2009 and 2014 she had a 50% clinical research position financed by the Swedish Research Council and was 2012 appointed Pofessor in Clinical Oral Physiology at KI.

Between 2011 and 2012 she was the President of the Neuroscience Group of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) and between 2013 tpo 2016 the President of the Swedish Pain Society, the national chapter of the International Association for Pain (IASP).  At the same time she was also a member of the Council of the European Pain Federation’s (EFIC).

She has co-authored more than 100 original papers, review papers and book chapters.

Research description

My research group focuses on increasing our knowledge concerning the mechanisms behind chronic orofacial pain, emphasising jaw muscle pain and its sex differences. The research is translational, spanning from basic research conducted in patients and matched pain-free controls via human experimental studies where pain is experimentally induced to clinical intervention studies. We study potential algesic and inflammatory peripheral biomarkers, such as serotonin, glutamate, cytokines and neuropeptides.

The Orofacial Pain Research Group is part of the larger Orofacial Neuroscience Group at the Department of Dental Medicine, which in turn collaborates with other leading research groups in Scandinavia, via the Scandinavian Center for Orofacial Neuroscience (SCON). The group has a close collaboration with the Specialist Clinic for Orofacial Pain at the Eastman Institute in Stockholm.

The group also collaborates with several other reserach groups within KI and other Swedish and International universities.

Fore information about specific research projects, please visit the Department's research pages.

Teaching portfolio

I have always had a great interest in teaching and throughout the yeras been a member of various educational committees . At present I am affiliated to the Educational Committee at the Department of Dental Medicine. As Professor I have initiated radical changes of the teaching in my subject (Orofacial Pain and Jaw Function) for dental students, in which we have changed from having a more traditional teaching with lectures to "Flip-the-classroom" pedagogics. I was also responsible for the implementation of OSCE within the curriculum for underaduate dental students in 2009.


DDS KI 1979

Specialist Diploma in Orofacial Pain 1995

PhD KI 1999

Associate Professor (Docent) KI 2004

Professor KI 2012

Academic honours, awards and prizes

The Swedish Dental Society award for the best doctoral thesis in odontology 2001

The Henry Beyron award for scientific achievments in orofacial pain in Sweden or abroad 2012

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